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Studies in intimacy

Featuring essays from some of the most prominent voices in early medieval English studies, Dating Beowulf: studies in intimacy playfully redeploys the word ‘dating’, which usually heralds some of the most divisive critical impasses in the field, to provocatively phrase a set of new relationships with an Old English poem. This volume presents an argument for the relevance of the early Middle Ages to affect studies and vice versa, while offering a riposte to anti-feminist discourse and opening avenues for future work by specialists in the history of emotions, feminist criticism, literary theory, Old English literature, and medieval studies alike. To this end, the chapters embody a range of critical approaches, from queer theory to animal studies and ecocriticism to Actor-Network theory, all organized into clusters that articulate new modes of intimacy with the poem.

Open Access (free)
Bronwen Price

Atlantis. Aughterson’s essay provides an analysis of the complex formulation of gender in Bacon’s text, arguing against the tendency of feminist criticism to view Bacon as the founding father of a thoroughly masculinised science. Instead, she shows how concepts of sexual difference and gender in the New Atlantis are connected to the ‘re-visioning’ across a range of areas that takes place in the text. By closely analysing its rhetoric, metaphors and allusions, Aughterson argues that Bacon’s fable questions clearcut sexual hierarchies and articulates a version of

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis
Open Access (free)
Caroline Rusterholz

The conclusion highlights the principle contributions of the book: women doctors actively contributed to the medicalisation of contraception and family planning. They did so with a view to empowering women to avoid pregnancies and adopt female-oriented methods of birth control. But they also aspired to take these issues away from the moralists; instead, birth control, contraception and family planning were to be regarded as medical fields of research and practice in which female doctors would be central actors. By engaging medically with this topic and entering the field in large numbers, women doctors were trying to secure territory for themselves. Despite a feminist sensitivity to and awareness of their patients’ needs, they were nevertheless wielding their authority over the female body. At the national level, women doctors tirelessly advocated for access to contraception and reliable methods of birth control. At the international level, British women doctors participated in debates about the medicalisation of birth control at conferences in the 1920s and 1930s. They contributed to positioning birth control as an international health issue. The conclusion then engages with more contemporary debates on feminist criticisms of medical power and briefly assesses the legacy of these women doctors.

in Women’s medicine
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Incest and beyond
Jenny DiPlacidi

). 2 Diana Wallace and Andrew Smith (eds), The Female Gothic: New Directions (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). 3 Lauren Fitzgerald points to the binary of male/female oppression found in Gothic plots as replicated through the conventions of feminist criticism that seeks to liberate the

in Gothic incest
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Anne McClintock and H. Rider Haggard
Laura Chrisman

literary subjects are given ideological value. The notion of mediation allows us to engage with the ways in which those values are textually produced. Gagool’s case, for example, marks the conjunction of Haggard’s sexism and his classism, which found in isanusis a class politically antagonistic towards white power. Haggard’s political concerns are mediated through the category of gender. Equally, gender ideology is mediated through the politicised category of class. I am suggesting that for feminist criticism of imperial and colonial culture to develop it needs

in Postcolonial contraventions
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Colonial body into postcolonial narrative
Elleke Boehmer

reading by Mary Jacobus. See Mary BOEHMER Makeup 3/22/05 2:55 PM Page 139 John's G5:Users:john:Public:John's Mac: John's Job Colonial body into postcolonial narrative 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 139 Jacobus, ‘Readings in hysteria’, in Reading Woman: Essays in Feminist Criticism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), pp. 195–274. Jacobus, Reading Woman, p. 197. Mungo Park, Travels in the Interior of Africa (London: The Folio Society, 1984). Richard Burton, Love, War and Fancy: The Customs and Manners of the East from Writings on the

in Stories of women
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Robin Norris

to Beowulf are by line number from this edition, hereafter referred to as Klaeber 4 . 2 What I object to is fetishization of Hildeburh in the service of creating a through-line from Tacitus to the Victorians to the present day, allowing us to ignore men's sadness by overemphasizing women's sorrow. The figure of the mourning woman became the focus of important feminist criticism such as Joyce Hill's ‘Þæt wæs geomuru ides! A

in Dating Beowulf
Anu Koivunen
Katariina Kyrölä
, and
Ingrid Ryberg

embodiment, ethics, affect, and ontology (Ahmed and Stacey, 2001; Clough and Halley, 2007; Garber et  al., 2000; Koivunen, 2001; 2010). Furthermore, it coincides with what Robyn Wiegman (2014) has termed the reparative ‘turn’ in queer feminist criticism. However, the history and routes of the concept’s travels are much longer and more complex. Invoked in the 1980s in the fields of moral and political philosophy (Goodin, 1985; 1988; Nussbaum, 1986), the concept subsequently travelled across disciplines:  from sociology and social policy studies (McLaughlin, 2012; Misztal

in The power of vulnerability
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Kinneret Lahad

, emotionally, and reproductively available to men. This is one of the reasons why long-term singlehood is still seen by many as not representing a viable option for women, because it does not conform to gendered expectations and defies gender socialization in general. Moreover, the fact that long-term singlehood is not perceived as a feasible possibility may be one reason why some women remain in unhappy and even abusive relationships. In this manner, my work corresponds with feminist criticism which has long sought to debunk the traditional discourse of feminine ideals. For

in A table for one
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Disrupting the critical genealogy of the Gothic
Jenny DiPlacidi

almost exclusively as the rape of girls by older male family members. 37 That such formations of this incest paradigm coincided with feminist criticism’s reclamation of the Female Gothic in the 1970s undoubtedly determined literary scholarship to read incest in the Gothic as representative of violent sexual aggression. 38 Seminal works on the Female Gothic by scholars such as Ellen

in Gothic incest